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A Scoping Review of Trauma-Informed Curricula for Primary Care Providers. Fam Med 2021 Nov;53(10):843-856



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85118945137 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Traumatic experiences such as abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction have a lifetime prevalence of 62%-75% and can negatively impact health outcomes. However, many primary care providers (PCPs) are inadequately prepared to treat patients with trauma due to a lack of training. Our objective was to identify trauma-informed approach curricula for PCPs, review their effectiveness, and identify gaps.

METHODS: We systematically identified articles from Medline, Scopus, Web of Science, Academic Search Premier, Cochrane, PsycINFO, MedEd Portal, and the STFM Resource Library. Search term headings "trauma-informed care (TIC)," "resilience," "patient-centered care," "primary care," and "education." Inclusion criteria were PCP, pediatric and adult patients, and training evaluation. Exclusion criteria were outside the United States, non-English articles, non-PCPs, and inpatient settings. We used the TIC pyramid to extract topics. We analyzed evaluation methods using the Kirkpatrick Model.

RESULTS: Researchers reviewed 6,825 articles and identified 17 different curricula. Understanding health effects of trauma was the most common topic (94%). Evaluation data revealed overall positive reactions and improved knowledge, attitudes, and confidence. Half (53%) reported Kirkpatrick level 3 behavior change evaluation outcomes with increased trauma screening and communication, but no change in referrals. Only 12% (2/17) evaluated Kirkpatrick level 4 patient satisfaction (significant results) and health outcomes (not significant).

CONCLUSIONS: Pilot findings from studies in our review show trauma-informed curricula for PCPs reveal positive reactions, an increase in knowledge, screening, communication, and patient satisfaction, but no change in referrals or health outcomes. Further research is needed to examine the impact of trainings on quality of care and health outcomes.

Author List

Gundacker C, Barry C, Laurent E, Sieracki R


Constance Gundacker MD Interim Chief, Assistant Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Health Personnel
Primary Health Care